problem with a yard changing prices after a haulout - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-15-2011
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problem with a yard changing prices after a haulout

I hauled a boat 3 days before Thanksgiving. The stay was to be 2-3 months on the hard while doing below the waterline hull repairs. Payment of $10 per foot per month was paid up front for the first 2 months , prior to the haul .6 weeks into the repairs, the yard owner claimed that I had agreed to compensate him for storage @ $500 per month and that I had promised him 50% of the work to be done on the vessel. Since he had not worked on the vessel , he expects payment of $1000 per month for lost wages. He also wants $1000 for the last month that I will need to finish the hull work and launch. The Yard agreement was filled out @ $10 per foot per month and signed but had no provisions for any labor agreement , as this was not part of our business arrangement. The first 2 months have yet to pass , but the yard owner has already threatened to launch the boat , minus it's keel and seize the boat for non payment of his amended fees. The boat is a trimaran with a 24 foot beam, so trailering out is not an option. I have no problem paying for additional time on land at the agreed upon price, but the yard's amended fees are not reasonable , in my opinion. Has anyone had a similar problem and found a way other than hiring an attorney to rectify it?

Last edited by xsboats; 01-15-2011 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 01-15-2011
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Time to ck with lawyer.marc
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Old 01-15-2011
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Don't hesitate...if you have a signed agreement, get a lawyer. And tell the a__hat at the marina that all future communications will be thru your lawyer.

JMO,

Bill
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Old 01-15-2011
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Sounds like he want's your boat & thinks he has you over the barrel ... Def time to lawyer up , it's gonna cost you either way BUT one way you will be in the right.
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Old 01-15-2011
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Let us have the name of the yard, so as to expose these bad deeds and perhaps prevent some one else from falling in to the same mess.

Dick
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Old 01-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybyknight View Post
Let us have the name of the yard, so as to expose these bad deeds and perhaps prevent some one else from falling in to the same mess.

Dick
As much as I would like to, it would not be prudent to do so , at least until the boat is safe. As a maritime professional, [builder and captain] , I find actions such as these responsible for the declining reputation of maritime facilities and services, specifically in my geographic area . I am obligated to adhere to the terms under which I agree to do business and expect the same in return.
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Old 01-15-2011
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You have to make a judgment call based on facts we can't assess here. Do you plan to burn this bridge and never return, for example. I suspect you are, but sometimes that's not a good choice if you may need them for a quick haul, etc, in a pinch. Are you convinced this is extortion or is there the slight possibility of a misunderstanding. For example, I ended up in a yard once that required they perform several services if you hauled out there. They never mentioned it and I was upset when I found out too late. Totally their fault, however, I wasn't being singled out or extorted, which is a bit different. Those that were all around me on the hard, who knew this rule, didn't have a problem with it. I decided to pay and just not go back again.

If the cost of a lawyer was going to be the same or more than the cost of paying them to do whatever labor they thought they would get (or are extorting), I might consider just having them do it. When complete, I would leave and let the owner know that you will share the story of your extortion with everyone you know, including your friends on the internet. In almost all cases, that gets the owners attention. If you are adept at negotiating, you might even be able to split the difference before the work is done. If they've already threatened to launch you without a keel, you seem like you may be past this point unfortunately.

Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2011
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I had a similar experience with a boatyard in St. Pete when we had work done on our former yacht in 1999-2000. In researching the law at that time I was amazed to discover that many of the consumer protection laws in Florida explicitly exclude pleasure boats and yachts. To say that was a distressing discovery is an understatement.

If you have a signed agreement, ensure that you have read all of the verbiage, particularly any small print. If the agreement does not make any reference to the matters specific to the yard's claims you might have an advantage. Not so, however, if the agreement makes any reference to the yard's "standard practices" even though they may not be specifically enunciated in the agreement. In Florida, boatyards commonly require that work on a boat be done by or through the yard--although frequently they will use the same sub-contractors as you might yourself but charge for their time at the yard's labor rate. If so, the yard will likely have notice of such policy posted somewhere, commonly in the office where one deals with the yard manager, but not necessarily.

If I were in your position, I would review the Agreement very carefully. If afterward you remain convinced you are right, speak with an attorney and, if possible, have a letter sent to the yard indicating that if the terms of the Agreement are not honored, you will proceed with a lawsuit to enforce the Agreement/Contract and seek compensation for any damages that might be inflicted on the yacht by the yard's breech, including recovery of legal fees.

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Last edited by svHyLyte; 01-16-2011 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 01-15-2011
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Agree with svHyLite. You paint a picture of breach of contract. DEFINITELY try to make the yard accountable for legal fees and any damages to the vessel from launching without your OK.
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Old 01-15-2011
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
It is unfortunate, sad and a state of fact that many marine industry businesses have a less than stellar record when it comes to being honest, upright and straightforward in their business dealings.
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